An India-Pakistan clash in a World Cups is like the heartbeat of the tournament. Without it, the biggest carnival of the summer looks incomplete. Be it for the value it possesses or the amount of interest it generates, the clashes between the arch-rivals have always been a standout in the history of the tournament.
India and Pakistan have so far met six times in the 50-over World Cup and on each occasion, India have emerged victorious. The first time the two sides met were in 1992 while the last came in 2015. Barring one odd year in 2007, the two sides have met in every tournament for the past 27 years.
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The rivalry is intense and it not only gets the best out of the fans but also the players. And, we take a look at the standout performances in the six World Cup clashes so far.
Sachin Tendulkar (54) and Aamer Sohail (62) -- Benson & Hedges World Cup at Sydney, March 4 1992
India won the match by 43 runs thanks to an all-round show from the team.
However, it was an 18-year-old Sachin Tendulkar, who stole the show for India. Coming in to bat at No.5 after Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and chose to bat, Tendulkar played a fine knock of 54 off 62 balls against a Pakistan attack consisting of Wasim Akram, Imran Khan and Mushtaq Ahmed among others. He hit only three fours in the innings and played with great maturity to help India post 216/7 from 49 overs.
Chasing 217 to win, Pakistan opener Aamer Sohail gave his team a flying start and played the anchor's role despite wickets falling around him. Sohail played some fantastic shots and looked in fine touch. He was flying and looked comfortable until Tendulkar returned to get his wicket and got the all-important wicket to hurt Pakistan. Sohail departed for a well made 62 off 95 balls and following his departure, Pakistan collapsed and lost the game.
Navjot Singh Sidhu (93) and Aamer Sohail (55) -- Wills World Cup at Bengaluru, March 9 1996
India beat Pakistan by 39 runs in the second quarter-final of the tournament.
After Azharuddin decided to bat first, India were off to a flyer courtesy Sidhu and Tendulkar. The duo put on 90 for the first wicket before the latter fell for 31. However, Sidhu showed no signs of stopping that day. His attacking game was at full flow and he looked set for a century. However, the intent got the better of him and he was finally bowled for 93 off 115 balls by Mushtaq Ahmed. But, thanks to his blast at the top, India reached a then formidable total of 287/8. Sidhu had smashed 11 fours in his innings.
Chasing, Pakistan also started pretty well. Sohail and Saeed Anwar scored 84 for the first wicket before Anwar fell to Javagal Srinath. Sohail went on and completed his half-century -- back to back against India in World Cups but once again fell at the wrong time. He hit nine fours and one six in his 46-ball innings. Sohail's innings provided impetus to the chase but the middle-order failed to carry on and eventually, Pakistan lost.
Rahul Dravid (61), Mohammad Azharuddin (59) and Venkatesh Prasad (5/27) -- ICC World Cup at Manchester, June 8 1999
India beat Pakistan by 47 runs to register their third straight win over them in World Cups.
Again winning the toss, Azharuddin decided to bat first. India lost Sadagoppan Ramesh early and after a brief partnership with Rahul Dravid, Tendulkar and Ajay Jadeja followed fell in quick succession. It was up to Dravid and Azharuddin to save the blushes and the duo did exactly that. While Dravid scored 61 off 89 balls, Azharuddin registered 59 off 77 balls to take India to 227/6.
Pakistan never got going in the chase and the day belonged to Venkatesh Prasad. Defending a low score, Prasad came in first change and returned with five wickets for just 27 runs from 9.3 overs to run through the Pakistan batting order and win India the match. He got the wickets of Anwar, Saleem Malik, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Moin Khan and captain Wasim Akram as Pakistan suffered yet another loss at the hands of India.
Sachin Tendulkar (98) and Saeed Anwar (101) -- ICC World Cup at Centurion, March 1 2003
India got the better of Pakistan for the fourth time in a row as the Men in Blue beat Waqar Younis' men by 6 wickets.
This time, Waqar won the toss and elected to bat first and the fans were treated to a gem of an innings from Anwar. The southpaw got off to a rollicking start and carried on the momentum throughout his innings. Despite wickets falling around him, Anwar went unfazed and timed the ball to perfection. From drives to hooks, he played it all and had an answer to everything India threw at him. He finally perished for a well-made 101 off 126 balls in the 41st over but his job was done. Pakistan rode on Anwar's 126-ball knock which was laced with seven fours, to score 273/7.
Chasing 274, India had their own answer. In what is believed to be one of his finest innings, Tendulkar tore into Akram, Waqar and Shoaib Akhtar. Tendulkar was up and running from the very beginning and his uppercut off a wide Akhtar bouncer which went for a six still remains one for the highlight reels. He smashed everyone around but ultimately failed to get a century as he fell for 98 off 75 balls to Akhtar in the 28th over. He hit 12 fours and one six that day. However, Tendulkar's wicket didn't have any effect on the game as Dravid (44*) and Yuvraj Singh (50*) took India home with 26 balls to spare.
Sachin Tendulkar (85) and Wahab Riaz (5/46) -- ICC Cricket World Cup at Chandigarh, March 30 2011
After a disastrous 2007 World Cup for both the sides, this was a semi-final of great importance and India once again triumphed over their arch-rivals by 29 runs.
Choosing to bat first, India rode on another Tendulkar brilliance to score 260/9. Tendulkar once again hit the ground running with some fluent strokes. The Little Master carried his great tournament form in the semi-final and played with great ease despite Wahab Riaz breathing fire from the other end. Tendulkar scored 85 from 115 balls, hitting 11 fours before falling to Saeed Ajmal.
Riaz however, was the chief architect behind Pakistan restricting India to 260. He bowled with great pace and accuracy and got the wickets of Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Zaheer Khan. Wahab ended with 5/46.
Chasing 261, barring a patient 76-ball 56 from Misbah-ul-Haq, nobody from Pakistan could get going and get the runs required as the Indian bowlers strangled the Pakistanis pretty well. Ultimately, they were bowled out for 231 in 49.5 overs and India went on to the final and then beat Sri Lanka to lift the trophy at Wankhede.
Virat Kohli (107) and Sohail Khan (5/55) -- ICC Cricket World Cup at Adelaide, February 15 2015
India and Pakistan again came face to face and usual proceedings followed as the former emerged victorious by 76 runs.
Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first and India despite losing Rohit Sharma early, were off to a good start courtesy Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli. The duo put on 129 runs for the second wicket before Dhawan was run-out for a 76-ball 73 but Suresh Raina joined hands with Kohli and the duo put on another 110 runs for the third wicket before Kohli fell. However, Kohli's job was well done as he smashed the bowlers around and brought up his hundred before perishing. Kohli scored 107 off 126 balls, hitting eight fours as India put on 300/7 from their 50 overs.
For Pakistan, it was a good recovery in the end as they managed to restrict India to just 300 as it looked India would well score over 330. Sohail Khan was the reason behind the comeback as he picked five crucial wickets. Sohail removed Rohit, Kohli, Raina, Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane towards the end of the innings.
Chasing 301, Pakistan again continued to lose wickets and it was on Misbah's shoulders to take the team over the finish line. But, despite a valiant effort, he fell for 76 in the 45th over and Pakistan's hopes were crushed as they surrendered the match by 76 runs.